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Police officer

As a police officer, your job is to reduce crime and make a real difference to the communities in Avon and Somerset. You will provide support and reassurance to people on what might feel like the worst day of their lives and many will look to you for guidance and protection.

Find out what it takes to be a police officer.


During the eligibility process, we must check you meet all of the following criteria before you can continue with your application.

The demand for police officers is primarily in the south of the force area, therefore we may prioritise applicants who are able to be posted to this area.

You must:

  • be aged 17 or over
  • have been a UK resident for the past three years continuously
  • be either a British Citizen, a citizen of the EU, EAA, or Commonwealth or foreign national with indefinite leave to remain in the UK
  • hold a full or provisional UK manual driving licence at the time of application – Full driving licenses will need to be obtained by August 2024. If you are unlikely to pass your driving test by August 2024, your application will be rejected.
  • reside within the force boundaries from the first day of your appointment. You will be posted depending on organisational demand, anywhere within the force area. We expect you to reside within 30 miles or with a travelling time of up to 45 minutes from your posting.
  • have a minimum of a Level 3 qualification (for example, 2 x A Levels) or equivalent. As a guide, an acceptable Level 3 qualification would be gained over a two-year learning period.
  • have a Level 2 or higher in Maths and English at grade C/4-at time of application.

You must not:

  • have a County Court Judgement (CCJ), which has not been satisfied
  • be currently declared bankrupt and for a period of three years afterwards
  • be subject to a Debt Relief Order and for a period of three years afterwards
  • be a member of certain national groups, for example, British National Party, Combat 18 or National Front
  • have any tattoos which would cause offence
  • have attended a College of Policing assessment centre in the last six months
  • have had an unsuccessful application with another police force with the past six months
  • have been placed on the Police Barred and Advisory Lists within five years from the date of listing in the case of gross misconduct, or three years from the date of listing in the case of poor performance
  • have any criminal convictions or cautions (minor offences will be considered)

Additional qualification requirement

To apply for a Police Constable Degree Apprenticeship, you will need to provide proof of your Level 2 qualifications.

What we offer

We offer a unique, stimulating and rewarding career with an opportunity to make a real difference to your community. You will work as an officer from your first day and we will enable you to unleash your full potential by providing dedicated support and training that will support your professional development.

As a police officer, you will engage directly with our communities and will be responsible for ensuring they receive an outstanding policing service.

Our officers are leaders and every day make a positive and lasting difference to the lives of the public that we serve. We see individuality as a strength and empower our people to make the right decision for the public that we serve.

In addition to a unique and rewarding career, you will receive:

  • A starting salary of £28,551 for the PCDA, DHEP, and Professional Policing Degree entry routes.
  • On completion of your probation period, you are able to request flexible working, full time, part time and job share opportunities.
  • Annual leave of 22 paid days, increasing to 30 days as length of service increases, plus public holidays.
  • An undergraduate honours degree in Professional Policing Practice with entry through the Police Constable Degree Apprenticeship (PCDA) route or a Level 6 Diploma in Professional Policing Practice with entry through our Degree Holder Entry Programme (DHEP).
  • Training and development including mentoring and leadership programmes alongside key technical skills.
  • Career opportunities available in various locations across the force area.
  • Access to the Police Pension Scheme (2015).
  • Enhanced Maternity benefits.
  • Lifestyle benefits, including sports, gym and social facilities and activities, cycle to work scheme and childcare vouchers, including access to the Force Club.
  • Allowances for working different shift patterns, including bank holiday payments.
  • A generous occupational sick pay scheme which provides a top up to statutory sick pay payments for up to 12 months.
  • Wellbeing support and advice, for professional and personal matters including:
    • an employee assistance programme
    • physiotherapy
    • an in-house occupational health service
    • support from the application stage for individuals with protected characteristics, including support from our in-house Dyslexia team and technology support
  • Our seven point promise, which ensures the welfare and professional support of staff and officers who are assaulted or are victims of hate crime
  • A range of public sector discounts from insurance to holidays and access to student discounts and other benefits during the duration of your study.
  • Free parking at some sites where available.
  • Access to supportive and active staff groups, networks and associations.

Find out more about why you should work for us.

Supporting applicants with a disability or neurodiverse condition

We are proud to be a Disability Confident Leader.

This means we work to remove barriers into employment, increase understanding and ensure those with a disability or a neurodiverse condition (as defined by the Equalities Act 2010) have opportunities to fulfil their potential.

We want our employees to feel safe to disclose any disability or long-term health condition, feeling confident they will be supported as necessary.

We encourage you to tell us if you have a disability on your application so we can offer you support throughout the recruitment process and if you join our team.

When completing your application on our recruitment system, you can tick a box if you would like our Outreach Team to contact you to provide guidance and support.

The information you provide us around any disability will be shared with our HR Advisory team, Occupational Health team and our Learning and Development Team. These teams will support you and ensure you have all the required measures in place to carry out your role.

It is important you disclose any disability at the earliest opportunity so we can provide you with what you need to successfully complete your training and be competent in your role.

What we need

When working as a police officer, you will:

  • be driven to make a difference, providing an outstanding service to all communities in the Avon and Somerset area
  • have the courage and integrity to hold a position of trust and responsibility
  • be passionate about making a difference, helping others in their time of need, possibly on the worst day they have experienced
  • have the ability to communicate effectively and understand the right tone and approach to take when faced with unpredictable and changeable situations
  • be able to think quickly and clearly and make good decisions under pressure
  • actively learn from situations that did not go to plan and reflect on what can be improved, taking feedback and encouraging others to learn
  • have cultural awareness and want to actively engage in partnerships with others, understanding their needs whatever their background and situation
  • be an ambassador for policing: professional, friendly and focused on building relationships with communities, colleagues and partner agencies
  • be enthusiastic, reliable, self-disciplined, adaptable and compassionate enough to take control of situations
  • take pride in your work and be proud to be a police officer

The role of a police officer is varied, you will encounter a wide range of situations and no two days will be the same. As a police officer, you might:

  • work alongside communities, liaising with community groups and individuals
  • provide a visible presence to deter crime and reassure the community
  • provide support and reassurance to people who have been subjected to a crime or anti-social behaviour
  • conduct patrol duties on foot, by car and bicycle
  • develop community knowledge to identify individuals and locations at risk of being involved in crime
  • respond to calls and requests from the public to assist at incidents
  • keep the peace at public meetings, social events, processions, trade disputes or strikes
  • diffuse potentially volatile situations with regard for the safety of all involved
  • act with sensitivity when dealing with situations such as delivering news of a sudden death or when dealing with sexual crimes
  • conduct initial investigations, gather evidence, take statements and comply with relevant legal requirements
  • interview suspects, victims and witnesses in accordance with relevant legislation
  • conduct arrests with due regard for the human rights, security and health and safety of detained individuals, members of the public, colleagues and yourself
  • prepare crime reports and present case files
  • attend and give evidence in court and at other hearings
How to become a police officer (PCDA, DHEP and PPD routes)

We offer three entry routes to become a police officer:

1. Police Constable Degree Apprenticeship (PCDA)

There are two entry routes to become a patrol officer and one of these is through the Police Constable Degree Apprenticeship (PCDA).

To apply you must have a minimum of a Level 3 qualification (2 x A Levels) or equivalent, which must be uploaded with your application

Alternatively, you must be either:

  • a current serving Special Constable for the last 18 months with independent patrol status
  • a current serving Police Community Support Officer for the last 18 months and have completed probation
  • a current serving Enquiry Officer for at least 18 months
  • a current serving police staff investigator for at least 18 months
  • working as a Detention Officer, Call Handler or Dispatcher within Avon and Somerset for at least 18 months

All applicants must have a minimum of a Level 2 qualification (GCSE or functional skills) at grade C/4 or above in Maths and English, which must be uploaded with your application.

Find out more about the Police Constable Degree Apprenticeship.

2. Professional Policing Degree (PPD)

The second entry route to becoming a patrol officer, is through the Professional Policing Degree programme.

The PPD programme uses the theoretical knowledge you have gained whilst studying for your Degree in Professional Policing and provides you with the practical, on the job training you will require to become a Police Officer.

To apply, you must:

  • have attained OR be working towards the Degree in Professional Policing and have attained your predicted final grade

Find out more about the Professional Policing Degree programme (PPD).

3. Degree Holder Entry Programme (DHEP)

You will be eligible to apply for our Degree Holder Entry Programme if you already hold a bachelor’s degree in any subject (or international equivalent) at the time of application.

You are not eligible to apply for the DHEP route if you hold or are working towards the Degree in Professional Policing.

To apply for either route, you must:

  • hold a bachelor degree at the time of application
  • have a minimum of a Level 2 qualification (GCSE or functional skills) at grade C / grade 4 or above in Maths and English

You will need to upload copies of your certificates onto the e-recruitment system for verification by our Talent Acquisition team, and also show them to UWE Bristol on your first day.

Find out more about the Detective Degree Holder Entry Programme.

Recruitment process

Depending on which route into policing you take, you will follow a different recruitment process. Read more about the:


If you have previously worked for us or another police force, you may be eligible to rejoin as a police officer.


The police promotions process assesses competence at rank and potential at the next rank to identify and appoint future leaders.

Find out more about current vacancies and the police promotion process.


If you currently serve in a Home Office Constabulary, you are eligible to apply for a transfer to Avon and Somerset Police.

View current vacancies and find out how to apply for a transfer.

Ready to join us?

View the police officer recruitment process for the:

Contact our Talent Acquisition team to make a recruitment-related query.

Stay up to date

Find out about our latest vacancies by registering for our job alert email service, or join our Talent Bank to be contacted about suitable vacancies.

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